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Home News We’ll Produce a Better Electoral Act for 2027 elections – Speaker Abbas

We’ll Produce a Better Electoral Act for 2027 elections – Speaker Abbas

…as 10th House, EU partner on women, youth political empowerment

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, Ph.D has said that the 10th House would work to produce a better Electoral Act that would ensure improved elections in the year 2027.

 

Speaker Abbas noted that the House has already identified some areas in the electoral law that need to be strengthened ahead of the next election cycle.

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The Speaker made these known when he received a European Union delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States led by the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Samuela Isopi, at his office in Abuja on Thursday.

 

The 9th National Assembly had reviewed the Electoral Act 2010, leading to the emergence and application of the Electoral Act 2022 for the 2023 elections.

However, the Speaker stated that a further review of the current Act would produce better results in the 2027 elections.

 

Speaker Abbas, who received the delegation in company of several members of the House, also said the Green Chamber under his leadership would do its best to pass legislation to encourage women and youth participation in politics and governance.

 

He said: “I want to particularly express our appreciation to the European Union for all the supports and contributions that you have been giving the Nigerian Government, and by extension the Nigerian Parliament since 1999. It is on record that you are one of the biggest singular contributors in terms of technical support to the National Assembly since inception of this institution in 1999.”

 

Speaker Abbas, who received copies of the EU reports on Nigeria’s 2023 elections, said they would be studied carefully.

 

“We have already set the ball rolling and the machinery in action. We realised that in spite of all that we did in 2022 to strengthen the law (Electoral Act), there are other issues that cropped up, which require our attention, and we will not leave any stone unturned. All those areas of weaknesses in the Electoral Act, we are going to revisit and review them.

 

“I want to assure you that the 2027 election will be a better election than the 2023. And the laws that we are going to review would be the best for this country,” he stated.

 

The Speaker informed the EU delegation that the 10th House has created about 15 friendship groups for EU countries alone, noting that a new one dedicated to the EU and its Parliament would be set up soon.

 

He said the 10th House has raised the number of standing committees dedicated to women and their interests from one to two, namely Committee on Women Affairs and Committee on Women in Parliament.

 

“Women in Nigeria require additional support. It is not easy for a woman to emerge (as a candidate) in any political party. It is not easy for any woman to actually emerge victorious in any election. They need to be supported,” he said.

 

He added that: “Our vision is for the women who are here today to be reelected in 2027 and beyond, but that cannot be possible unless we showcase these women as role models, to serve as inspiration for other women who may want to aspire to be legislators in the future. The only way we can do that is by giving them special assistance, that is why in the 10th House, women are accorded prominence.”

 

The Speaker noted that the youth in the chambers were also given prominence, saying a special committee known as the Committee on Youth in Parliament was established for members under the age of 45.

 

He said: “Those are the two areas that we would want to see more cooperation between us and you – the EU; on how we can support our women and youth more. If we are able to achieve these, I think we would be making a lot of progress.

 

“Additionally on the issue of women, I want to assure you that this constitutional amendment that we are just about to take off, we would give all the resources needed to ensure that this time around women representation was taken seriously – not only in the legislature but also the executive. We will do everything humanly possible to ensure that we do not repeat what happened in the 9th Assembly.

 

“Under our leadership, we have set the ball roiling and we are just waiting for the time. By the grace of God, women would be accorded the kind of recognition they require in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

 

Earlier, Ambassador Isopi raised three issues of concern to the EU, namely: women in politics and governance, electoral reforms and inter-parliamentary relations.

 

She said the EU has been a champion and an advocate of democracy, and has supported Nigeria’s democracy since its return in 1999. She added that at the request of the Nigerian Government, the EU continues to monitor elections in the country and makes observations and recommendations.

 

The EU ambassador also noted that investment on democracy is one of the best decisions a country could take for the future of its people.

 

She stated that the National Assembly remained one of the EU’s partners in the support for democracy in Nigeria, noting that the body was willing to provide supports to the country on electoral reforms, women representation, and inter-parliamentary collaborations.

 

Others in the EU team were the Deputy Head of delegation, Mr. Zissimos Vergos; Political Adviser, Mr. Osaro Odemwingie; Programme Manager, Democracy and Good Governance, Ms Laolu Olawumi, and the Media Adviser, Modestus Chukwulaka.

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